How are the 2020 overseas professionals playing?

It’s time for our second check-in with the overseas professionals that will be plying their trade in the Robinson Services Premier League next season.

Six clubs have confirmed their overseas professional for the 2020 campaign – Lisburn, Waringstown, Woodvale, Carrickfergus, Instonians and North Down.

Four of those have players currently competing in either South Africa or India, so lets take a look at how they are getting on.

Pat Botha – Woodvale

Woodvale moved early to bring in Pat Botha as overseas professional for their first top-flight campaign in a decade, and they will be delighted to see how he is playing for Free State.

Botha, who spent three seasons with Carrickfergus, has been on absolute fire with the bat, scoring 191 against Boland on November 7 in a First Class fixture.

Batting at number four in a three-day game. captain Botha scored his runs from 196 deliveries and put on a stand of 209 for the third wicket with Paballo Mogoera (152) as Free State won by an innings and 281 runs.

The 29-year-old followed that score up with 57 three days later against the same opposition and he has also registered another century (106*) and two half-centuries since the start of October.

Pat Botha. ©CricketEurope

Shadley van Schalkwyk – Waringstown

Van Schalkwyk will be returning to the NCU for his second campaign in 2020 after Waringstown announced the South African, who was at Armagh in 2018, would be replacing Haseeb Azam.

The 31-year-old plays for the same Free State outfit as Botha, and while his team-mate has been dominating with the bat, van Schalkwyk has been impressing with the ball.

Possessing fiery pace with the new ball, van Schalkwyk picked up figures of 5/25 against Boland on Sunday and also picked up another five-wicket haul in a List A fixture against Western Province in October, which included the scalp of CSNI’s overseas professional Andre Malan.

Van Schalkwyk has chipped in with runs along the way too, hitting 38 against KwaZulu-Natal in September and 29 against Boland last weekend.

Shadley van Schalkwyk. ©CricketEurope

Faiz Fazal – Lisburn

Fazal has been busy playing (and captaining) for Vidarbha in India and has contested over 10 matches since the start of October.

The Indian international impressed in his first campaign in the NCU with Lisburn in 2019, averaging over 50 and he has shown yet again his ability back in his homeland.

In a T20 fixture against Tripura at Thiruvananthapuram, Fazal hit 54 from 40 deliveries at the top of the order as he led his side to a comfortable nine-wicket triumph in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy group game.

Fazal also registered another half-century (58) in a seven-wicket Vijay Hazare Trophy win over Baroda on October 15, with Indian internationals Yusuf Pathan and Krunal Pandya on the opposing side.

faiz fazal
Fazal batting for Lisburn. ©CricketEurope

Jacques Snyman – Carrickfergus

Only Andre Malan scored more runs than Jacques Snyman during the 2019 season and he has continued that vein of form for Northern Cape.

Since the last time we checked in with Snyman, the explosive batsman has scored two massive centuries in the space of a week against KwaZulu-Natal and Northerns at Kimberley.

After hitting 111* from 73 deliveries batting at number three (11 fours, 7 sixes) in a nine-wicket win over KwaZulu-Natal on November 3, the 25-year-old went even bigger on Sunday, smashing 135 from 124 balls (14 fours and 5 sixes) in another win for a side that also includes Obus Pienaar.

As if that wasn’t enough, Snyman also picked up figures of 5/33 in the same match to cap off the perfect all-round performance.

Jacques Snyman. ©CricketEurope

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